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Why it's used

Chloramphenicol-Topical is used to treat bacterial eye infection (superficial ocular infections), inflammation of the conjunctiva (bacterial conjunctivitis. It is a prescription medicine. This medicine works by binding to bacterial ribosomes. Therefore, blocking the bacterial synthesis of protein at an early stage.
Chloramphenicol-Topical belongs to a class of medicines called Antibacterials. Antibacterials, also known as Antibiotics, are widely used in the treatment and prevention of diseases caused by bacteria. It destroys or slows down the growth of bacteria.

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How to use

Read the directions on the product label, patient guide, or medicine guide provided by the medicine company or your pharmacist before starting to use Chloramphenicol-Topical. If you have any questions related to this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Apply this medicine as recommended by your doctor.

Typical Dosage

The typical dose of Chloramphenicol-Topical is one or two drops applied up to six times every day and for severe infections, it may raise to one-two drops after every fifteen to twenty minutes, for eye ointments small amount of the ointment should be applied after every 3 hours.
This medicine should be used on an as-needed basis. Chloramphenicol-Topical eye drops should not be used longer than 5 days unless the doctor has advised the patient.

Talk to Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens.

Use in Children

If you are giving Chloramphenicol-Topical to a child, be sure to use a product that is meant for children. Before giving this medicine to a child, use the child's weight or age to find the right dose from the product package. You can also read the dosage section of this page to know the correct dose for your child. Else, consult with your doctor and follow their recommendation.
Wash your hands thoroughly after handling or coming in contact with Chloramphenicol-Topical.


You should store Chloramphenicol-Topical at 2 to 8°C for eye drops and below 25°C for eye ointment, and away from light. Store the medicine away from the reach of children and pets.
Medicines may be prescribed for uses other than those listed in the medicine guide. Do not use Chloramphenicol-Topical for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Chloramphenicol-Topical to other people who might have the same conditions or symptoms that you have. Self-medication may harm them.

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How to take Chloramphenicol-Topical

Your dose and how often you take Chloramphenicol-Topical will depend on the following factors:
  • patient's health

Chloramphenicol-Topical Dosage

Dosage for a bacterial eye infection

  • Recommended: one or two drops applied up to six times every day and for severe infections, the starting dose may be one-two drops after every fifteen to twenty minutes
  • Recommended: one or two drops applied up to six times every day and for severe infections, the starting dose may be one-two drops after every fifteen to twenty minutes

Dosage for inflammation of the conjunctiva

Adult (Chloramphenicol-Topical eye ointments are used in the treatment of acute bacterial inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye)
  • Recommended: small amount of the ointment should be applied after every 3 hours
  • Recommended: small amount of the ointment should be applied after every 3 hours

Dosage calculation for children

To calculate the dosage for children please use the weight based dose calculator to calculate the appropriate dosage as per the weight of your child.


Strength: 250 mg
Strength: 0.1%, 0.2%,10 mg, 10 mg/1000 mg
Strength: 0.4%, 0.5%
Powder, for solution
Strength: 1000 mg
Strength: 0.5%, 2.5%, 5 mg
Solution / drops
Strength: 0.2%, 0.5%, 5%

Missed Dose

In case of eye drops and eye ointments the missed dose should be used as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, the missed dose should be skipped, and the regular dosing schedule should be continued. A double dose should not be taken to make up for a missed dose.


What to do if you overdose on Chloramphenicol-Topical?
In case of overdose eye monitoring of patients should be done.
Symptoms of an overdose of Chloramphenicol-Topical
If you use too much of this medicine, it could lead to dangerous levels of the medicine in your body. In such cases, symptoms of an overdose may include:
  • fear of light
  • flow of tears
  • irritation
  • pain
  • swelling
If you think you have overdosed on Chloramphenicol-Topical, call a poison control center immediately. You can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at

Precautions while using Chloramphenicol-Topical

Before you use Chloramphenicol-Topical, tell your doctor of your medical and health history including the following:
  • damage to the optic nerve
  • dry eye syndrome
  • eye injury
  • eye surgery or laser surgery in the last 6 months
Before you use Chloramphenicol-Topical, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine and update your medical records to record this information.
Before having any surgery, discuss with your doctor and dentist about medicines you use including prescription medicines, non-prescription medicines, and herbal supplements.

Use when Pregnant

Chloramphenicol-Topical is not safe for use in women who are pregnant. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should discuss the impact on the fetus with your doctor before you start using this medicine. The safety of Chloramphenicol-Topical use has not been established in pregnancy, therefore it is not recommended for pregnant women.

If Breastfeeding

Chloramphenicol-Topical is not safe for use in women who are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, discuss with your doctor if you should either discontinue breastfeeding, or stop using this medicine during this period. The safety of Chloramphenicol-Topical use in breastfeeding has not been established. Chloramphenicol-Topical may systemically absorb by following the use of eye ointment or eye drops, it may cross the organ that attached to the fetus and passes into breast milk. Therefore it is not used during breastfeeding.


Chloramphenicol-Topical can make you feel sleepy. Be careful, especially while driving, while using heavy machinery, or when doing any activity that needs you to be completely alert. The consumption of alcohol with Chloramphenicol-Topical can worsen the sleepiness.

Increase in Risk

This medicine may increase your sensitivity to sunlight and make you prone to sunburn. If this happens, limit your time outdoors to prevent sunburn. Use a sunscreen and cover your skin.

Side-effects in Children

Younger patients may have a higher incidence of side-effects with Chloramphenicol-Topical.

Long-term Use

Long term use should be avoided in case of eye drops as it may increase sensitivity and rise of resistant organisms. If Chloramphenicol-Topical eye drops and eye ointments are used for a long time, the doctor will do some blood test to monitor the problem.

Chloramphenicol-Topical Side-effects

Rarely, the use of Chloramphenicol-Topical may cause the following side-effects:
The following severe side-effects may also occur when using Chloramphenicol-Topical:
  • Blood and lymphatic system disorders
    Symptoms: decrease or loss of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets
  • Immune system disorders
    Symptoms: area of swelling of the lower layer of skin, allergic reaction, fever, fluid-filled blisters on the hands raised red bump on the skin
    The treatment should be discontinued if such symptoms occur.
  • Eye disorders
    Symptoms: burning inflammation of the skin
Your doctor has prescribed this Chloramphenicol-Topical because they have judged that the benefits outweigh the risks posed by side-effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side-effects. This is not a complete list of possible side-effects for Chloramphenicol-Topical.
If you experience side-effects or notice other side-effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side-effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at


For Special Indications Only

During therapy, if any new infection appears, the antibiotic treatment should be discontinued. Suitable measures must be taken. Chloramphenicol-Topical should be reserved for those infections only for which it is clearly indicated.

Severe Infections

In severe infections when Chloramphenicol-Topical is used topically, it should be supplemented with suitable blood treatment.

Time Period

It is recommended to use Chloramphenicol-Topical after consulting a doctor when used after five days. The patient should look for medical advice if there is no recovery seen in the state of health or if the symptoms get worse after two days.

Avoid Prolong Use

When Chloramphenicol-Topical is used for long-term, it may increase the possibility of sensitization and non-sensitive organisms. Long-term use should be avoided.

Damage to the Lens

Absorption of the preservative on the lens can cause damage to the lens when using Chloramphenicol-Topical. During treatment with Chloramphenicol-Topical eye drops, the patient should wear soft contact lenses. It is advised to avoid all types of contact lenses during eye infections.

Bone Marrow Depression

The decrease in red, white cells and platelets and fatality is known to be caused while using Chloramphenicol-Topical topical form. Avoid repeated courses of Chloramphenicol-Topical and combined therapy with other drugs known to cause bone marrow depression.

Interactions with Chloramphenicol-Topical

When two or more medicines are taken together, it can change how the medicines work and increase the risk of side-effects. In medical terms, this is called as a Drug Interaction.
This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Chloramphenicol-Topical. Share a list of all medicines that you use with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicines without the approval of your doctor.

Drugs Depressing Bone Marrow Function

Chloramphenicol-Topical may interact with drugs which affect new blood cells that are being made by the bone marrow. Avoid the combined use of Chloramphenicol-Topical and drugs which are likely to depress the bone marrow function.

Traveling With Medication

  • Ensure that you carry enough doses of each of your prescription medicines to last the entire trip. The best place to store your medicines is in the carry on baggage. However, while flying, if carrying liquid medicines, make sure you do not go over the limits imposed for carry-on liquids.
  • While traveling overseas, make sure that you can carry each of your prescription medicines legally to your destination country. One way to ensure this is by checking with your destination country's embassy or website.
  • Make sure that you carry each of your medicines in their original packaging, which should typically include your name and address, and the details of the prescribing doctor.
  • If your travel involves crossing time zones, and you are required to take your medicine as per a fixed schedule, make sure that you adjust for the change in time.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Chloramphenicol-Topical is unlikely to cause a side-effect. However, please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. You are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medicines.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration regularly hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.

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